Office of Legislative Auditor report on overpayments to local tribes

The Office of the Legislative Auditor’s report on overpayments to the White Earth Nation and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe points out significant dysfunction in the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

According to the report released yesterday, DHS officials decided ten years ago that they would pay providers of opioid addiction treatment when the patients would take the medication, typically Suboxone, at home. OLA says they did not have the authority to do so. These decisions were not documented.

The billing issue stems from these entities billing Medicaid the rate for a face-to-face interaction at a clinic, somewhere around $450 per day, when patients self-administered their opioid treatment at home.

DHS is said to have overpaid somewhere around $29 million to the White Earth Nation and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, according to findings released earlier this year.

Officials with the Leech Lake Band have expressed frustration from receiving conflicting instructions from DHS.

The report’s conclusion indicates that no one at DHS is taking responsibility for the billing issue.

View the full report here.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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